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Bruininthebay

American Athletic and ESPN do not reach agreement during exclusive negotiations for new TV deal

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I’ve heard the MW powers that be are looking at Facebook.  I’ve also heard that the AAC is looking at ESPN primarily because they are willing to offer 8/school but some of the heavy hitters like UCF and Houston are pushing for more while they’re on top in basketball hoping for some March madness success.  I think schools like UCF end up with more.

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37 minutes ago, Bruininthebay said:

Boise State agreeing to give up some of their special rights over the past few years in the interest of MW conference harmony and solidarity is highly commendable and the best sign  I see that the members of the MW will do well in these negotiations.    Boise's deal originated because the Big East/AAC imploded and time was of the essence to get a deal and into the conference at the same time so that particular circumstance is not going to occur this time.  Currently ESPN's deal is just for Boise State home games.  Other MW games are sub-licensed from CBS because ESPN can get a bigger audience than CBS Sports for MW games with a ranked team playing. 

I am not aware that we gave anything up, and my understanding is that our deal is in perpetuity, What did I miss?

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1 minute ago, RogueStout said:

I am not aware that we gave anything up, and my understanding is that our deal is in perpetuity, What did I miss?

The contract has been posted here.

Boise owns its TV rights in perpetuity, you are correct.  It was a concession the MWC made to get Boise back.

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I have no idea why the idea of a 'perpetual contract' somehow became a myth.  Boise gets its share first from the present deal but they don't have media rights independent of the MW.   Boise's home games will likely continue to be valued separately from that of other MW schools and for more than ESPN already offered, but it may be possible other schools specific rights are sold in a similar fashion going forward.  Hawaii already has a unique rights situation.

In 2017, Boise agreed to a change in distribution that guarantees $1.8 million to the Broncos and then an equal distribution of the remaining funds.  There is no reason to presume a new media agreement will continue to pay Boise first, especially if the dollars are at or above BYU's current level.

https://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/college/mountain-west/boise-state-university/bronco-beat-blog/article142935634.html

No longer will the conference give bonuses to schools for appearing on major channels like CBS, ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, but instead will move to a more equal distribution model.

“We have institutions that get $500,000 in television revenue and some that get $1.5 million, just by the luck of the draw,” commissioner Craig Thompson told the Reno Gazette-Journal in July. “We have an institution that hasn’t had one of the top-five win-loss records in the league in football and they’ve made the third-most TV revenue just because of the luck of the draw: ESPN needs an ESPN2 game on Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 29 and the schedule works out, so you get the golden ticket.”

Now, Boise State’s membership agreement and its ESPN deal were honored, meaning the school gets $1.8 million up front annually. That’s the average bonus payout Boise State got from 2013-15 under the contract it agreed to when deciding to stay in the Mountain West. The remaining revenue will be divided among the 11 football-playing schools outside Hawaii, worth approximately $1.1 million per year, meaning a total of $2.9 million for Boise State.

 

 

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Brett McMurphy in 2012

http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8796807/boise-state-broncos-staying-mountain-west-conference-all

While Boise State was trying to decide between the MWC and Big East, sources told ESPN that the Broncos were trying to get either league to allow Boise State to retain its home television rights.

Such an arrangement is unheard of for a conference member. No school in any FBS conference retains its home television rights.

With neither conference agreeing to that arrangement, Boise State ultimately chose to remain in the Mountain West because of the MWC's geographic proximity and stability as well as the Big East's instability.

"Boise State home football games will be packaged with other Mountain West inventory and offered by the conference to interested networks, which the conference has the right to do under the newly restructured CBS agreement," Thompson told ESPN.

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I found an actual PDF of the contract on a Utah State fan forum .

The agreement between the MW and Boise State has specifics about the rights for sell Boise State home games being separate from the overall rights package so I guess that could be misinterpreted as 'perpetuity'.  Fox and NBC both could bid on just a Boise State package in the upcoming negotiations for a post 2020 tv contract.

The agreement with ESPN and the MW for the broadcast of Boise State home games is a separate contract for a fixed term that expires along with the Mountain West's overall deal.

BSU Term Sheet.pdf

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I believe the original wording of the Boise contract was:  

Quote

" 3. Television RightsBoise State shall provide the MWC the exclusive television broadcast rights to its intercollegiate athletic events, including but not limited to home football games, each season. In return, MWC will ensure such Boise State home football games are not part of, nor granted under, any current or future MWC conference-wide television rights contract, including the MWC television rights currently under contract with CBS/CSTV or as such may be amended in the future.  MWC will ensure that the Boise State home football games are sold as a separate package.  Boise State and MWC must mutually agree to whom such Boise State home football game rights are licensed and to the material terms of such license (provided that Boise State agrees in advance that CBS/CSTV may remain the prime licensee of the conference for television rights and the agreement for the sale of the Boise State home football games may take the form of a sub-license from CBS/CSTV in which case Boise State and the MWC must mutually agree to who sub-licensee is and the material terms of the sub-license). "

So Boise does not own its rights in perpetuity. The TV rights have been given to the MWC. However those games are negotiated and handled separately from the rest of the MWC games.

 

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39 minutes ago, Bruininthebay said:

I have no idea why the idea of a 'perpetual contract' somehow became a myth.  Boise gets its share first from the present deal but they don't have media rights independent of the MW.   Boise's home games will likely continue to be valued separately from that of other MW schools and for more than ESPN already offered, but it may be possible other schools specific rights are sold in a similar fashion going forward.  Hawaii already has a unique rights situation.

In 2017, Boise agreed to a change in distribution that guarantees $1.8 million to the Broncos and then an equal distribution of the remaining funds.  There is no reason to presume a new media agreement will continue to pay Boise first, especially if the dollars are at or above BYU's current level.

https://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/college/mountain-west/boise-state-university/bronco-beat-blog/article142935634.html

No longer will the conference give bonuses to schools for appearing on major channels like CBS, ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, but instead will move to a more equal distribution model.

“We have institutions that get $500,000 in television revenue and some that get $1.5 million, just by the luck of the draw,” commissioner Craig Thompson told the Reno Gazette-Journal in July. “We have an institution that hasn’t had one of the top-five win-loss records in the league in football and they’ve made the third-most TV revenue just because of the luck of the draw: ESPN needs an ESPN2 game on Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 29 and the schedule works out, so you get the golden ticket.”

Now, Boise State’s membership agreement and its ESPN deal were honored, meaning the school gets $1.8 million up front annually. That’s the average bonus payout Boise State got from 2013-15 under the contract it agreed to when deciding to stay in the Mountain West. The remaining revenue will be divided among the 11 football-playing schools outside Hawaii, worth approximately $1.1 million per year, meaning a total of $2.9 million for Boise State.

My understanding of this is that is didn't impact Boise State's bottom line at all, this was just to spread the rest equally around instead of giving the money just to the teams we play in those games. 

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You are correct that it didn't affect the bottom line.  However, it was a big concession that Boise State didn't have to make but did.  I interpret Boise's concession as a generous act that helped other conference members because Boise wanted to help them have more stable revenue.

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On 2/6/2019 at 11:13 AM, Bruininthebay said:

Currently the floor is the MW current deal and the ceiling is the Pac 12's deal.  If the AAC reaches a deal before the MW does, it is completely reasonable to expect the total value of the MW's deal to be comparable to that of the new AAC deal.  I would include the value of the new bowl game deals hosted by MW schools as well. 

Don't forget that the owner of the MW's tv rights will earn a significant additional revenue stream from sports bars in the east and central time zones of the US who must pay a lot more than the price of a home cable subscription to show Boise State games - when Aresco says that Friday night games are important, it's partially because of the value to sports bars who want to broadcast a football game on Friday night.  A 7 PM Pac kickoff usually means that a college football game will play until last call/2 AM throughout the eastern and central time zones.

This is a good time for the MW to compare itself to the Pac 12.  The Pac 12's men's basketball has better overall depth but the MW and the WCC have the teams with national rankings and prominence that aren't UCLA/Arizona (both schools are down due to coaching issues).  The most prominent and well paid Pac 12 football coach made his reputation at Boise State, - not his present job.  It's probably the case that Fresno State is the best football team in California because the Bulldogs are better than USC and Stanford right now.  My impression from Sports Media Watch is that when both teams aren't ranked the Pac 12 and the MW get comparable ratings in Window 4 on ESPN2 and ESPNU.  A MW game on ESPN beats a Pac 12 game on Fox Sports every single time.

If the price to put Pac 12 games on ESPN is $24 million per year, then the MW's close but not quite equal ratings for a lot of broadcasts is undervalued.  If you get ~80% of the ratings, it seems unfair to pay less than 10% of the price for an FBS football game.  A value of $8 million per school (~33% of the Pac 12 value) is not unreasonable if the AAC is able to get a deal that is ~ 25% of the SEC and ~33% of the ACC.

I think the MW will get a raise--but the reality is the ceiling is pretty low.  The big problem the MW has is their best selling point (they can supply late window content) is also the factor that most limits what they can be paid.  Those late night windows are the lowest ratings windows of the day because 80% of the potential TV watching audience is already signed off and gone to bed.  Additionally, the Pac12 is already filling the premier ABC/ESPN windows.  So, we are talking about filling the lower end ESPN2, ESNU, ESPN-News windows late at night.  The revenue simply isnt there to break the bank filling those slots with content.  Thats probably why ESPN offered to extend the existing deal....I imagine it doesnt make economic sense for ESPN to pay much more than they do now to fill those late night slots on their lesser watched networks.  If the MW refuses to sign for the kind of money where those ESPNU late night slots can be profitable---ESPN can just run SportsCenter or show a rerun of the Bama game rather than live content.  

As for night clubs and bars making a difference---dont count on it.  The bars dont pay by the game---they pay a monthly fee for the network.  No sports bar is dropping ESPN because they don't show MW games.  So, not having MW games isnt going to cost ESPN one dime of revenue. Besides, ESPN can actually manufacture late night content if they had to.  The AAC has already shown they will kiss ESPN's butt.   ESPN could easily get the AAC Central time zone teams to kick off at 8:30 or 9 a couple of times each a year---especially early in the season.  Hell, hot temperatures probably make an 8;30 kick MUCH more attractive than a 11AM kickoff for fans attending Tulane, Houston, SMU, and Tulsa games.  If Houston, Tulane, Tulsa, SMU, and Memphis  each provide 2 late kickoffs--- thats 10 late night filler games right there.  Add in BYU's 6 and ESPN has created 16 late night games.   Give New Mexico State a little deal and some scheduling help---and now ESPN has manufactured a cheap 22 game package of late night kick offs.      

ESPN is a sneaky little bastard.  Not trying to be negative---Im just saying this is the way ESPN thinks.   I actually think the MW will get a raise---I just think it will end up in the 3-4 million per team range range (although it might work out differently because of the way the Boise deal works).   Frankly, I think the best deal for the MW might be to sell ESPN a 20-25 game late night package where each team gets 2 late night games.  Put the rest on a streamer (Amazon or MW Digital) and let the schools start the rest of their games at the time that maximizes "in stadium" income.  I imagine ESPN will pay almost as much for that package of games as they do now (may even get raise) and then concentrate on catering to the fans desires with start times so teams see more full stadiums, more revenue from ticket sales, and more revenue other game day sources...not to mention...full stadiums are just more fun.     

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35 minutes ago, Bruininthebay said:

You are correct that it didn't affect the bottom line.  However, it was a big concession that Boise State didn't have to make but did.  I interpret Boise's concession as a generous act that helped other conference members because Boise wanted to help them have more stable revenue.

I just don't see how it impacted Boise State in any way, let alone how it could be framed as a "concession" or a "generous act".

Again, I may be missing something.

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28 minutes ago, CaffeinatedCoog said:

I think the MW will get a raise--but the reality is the ceiling is pretty low.  The big problem the MW has is their best selling point (they can supply late window content) is also the factor that most limits what they can be paid.  Those late night windows are the lowest ratings windows of the day because 80% of the potential TV watching audience is already signed off and gone to bed.  Additionally, the Pac12 is already filling the premier ABC/ESPN windows.  So, we are talking about filling the lower end ESPN2, ESNU, ESPN-News windows late at night.  The revenue simply isnt there to break the bank filling those slots with content.  Thats probably why ESPN offered to extend the existing deal....I imagine it doesnt make economic sense for ESPN to pay much more than they do now to fill those late night slots on their lesser watched networks.  If the MW refuses to sign for the kind of money where those ESPNU late night slots can be profitable---ESPN can just run SportsCenter or show a rerun of the Bama game rather than live content.  

As for night clubs and bars making a difference---dont count on it.  The bars dont pay by the game---they pay a monthly fee for the network.  No sports bar is dropping ESPN because they don't show MW games.  So, not having MW games isnt going to cost ESPN one dime of revenue. Besides, ESPN can actually manufacture late night content if they had to.  The AAC has already shown they will kiss ESPN's butt.   ESPN could easily get the AAC Central time zone teams to kick off at 8:30 or 9 a couple of times each a year---especially early in the season.  Hell, hot temperatures probably make an 8;30 kick MUCH more attractive than a 11AM kickoff for fans attending Tulane, Houston, SMU, and Tulsa games.  If Houston, Tulane, Tulsa, SMU, and Memphis  each provide 2 late kickoffs--- thats 10 late night filler games right there.  Add in BYU's 6 and ESPN has created 16 late night games.   Give New Mexico State a little deal and some scheduling help---and now ESPN has manufactured a cheap 22 game package of late night kick offs.      

ESPN is a sneaky little bastard.  Not trying to be negative---Im just saying this is the way ESPN thinks.   I actually think the MW will get a raise---I just think it will end up in the 3-4 million per team range range (although it might work out differently because of the way the Boise deal works).   Frankly, I think the best deal for the MW might be to sell ESPN a 20-25 game late night package where each team gets 2 late night games.  Put the rest on a streamer (Amazon or MW Digital) and let the schools start the rest of their games at the time that maximizes "in stadium" income.  I imagine ESPN will pay almost as much for that package of games as they do now (may even get raise) and then concentrate on catering to the fans desires with start times so teams see more full stadiums, more revenue from ticket sales, and more revenue other game day sources...not to mention...full stadiums are just more fun.     

Great points.

For late night, Mountain / Pacific Time Zone content, ESPN already has:

BYU (6 home games)

BOISE (6 home games)

PAC12 (they share the PAC12 with FOX)

 

They need filler for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night games.   So I think they'll pursue ~ 15 conference games per year from the MWC.

They can also use CUSA or the AAC games for late night filler if they need to.   An 8 p.m. Central kickoff  (6 p.m. Pacific) would get done at ~10:00 p.m. Pacific time.   That would be fine for them.   So this probably hurts any leverage the MWC has.

 

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1 hour ago, #1Stunner said:

OK, but what school do you cheer for now?

You already told everyone on here you are no longer a Wyoming fan, and that you are boycotting Wyoming, because they scheduled BYU.  The power BYU exerts over you, and controls you is a bit surprising, I admit.   I'm sure Wyoming is heartbroken you left....

But regardless, who is your school now?

When, exactly, did I say that?

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3 minutes ago, Wyovanian said:

When, exactly, did I say that?

 

 

 

It's too bad that you refuse to attend Wyoming football and basketball games anymore, and by your words "won't support" Wyoming anymore (because they scheduled BYU).

Good luck with your boycott.  You are teaching Tom Burman a lesson!!!

 

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16 minutes ago, #1Stunner said:

 

 

 

It's too bad that you refuse to attend Wyoming football and basketball games anymore, and by your words "won't support" Wyoming anymore (because they scheduled BYU).

Good luck with your boycott.  You are teaching Tom Burman a lesson!!!

 

Nice self own. 

Looks to me like he’s still supporting UW if he only cut his booster club support in half. 

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ESPN doesn't have to worry about Pac-12 network which is dying a slow death. But ESPN/ABC and Pac-12 have had a long agreement with each other. Again like i said last night rights came up, if MWC gets a raise it will be a small one. 

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Just now, wolfpack1 said:

ESPN doesn't have to worry about Pac-12 network which is dying a slow death. But ESPN/ABC and Pac-12 have had a long agreement with each other. Again like i said last night rights came up, if MWC gets a raise it will be a small one. 

One wild card is the MWC pursuing a different television network than ESPN.

I think FOX is out---they have enough content.

But who knows about NBC Sports, CBS Sports, or some other more obscure network.

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3 hours ago, Bruininthebay said:

My understanding of the reason they cut their high priced studio talent was the fact that ESPN shifted focus to broadcasting live sports because people watch youtube clips for highlights, not SportsCenter, now.  

The "live sports broadcast" focus may be part of the reason, but the move to cut highly paid veterans and replace them with newbies is a very common expense saving move in a lot of industries.  Tenured teachers tempted with early retirement payouts, as an example...you're paying your 20+ year experienced math teacher with a Masters Degree around $60K when you can downgrade the educational experience for your students by bringing in a recent college grad for $30K! :ph34r:  

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Just now, #1Stunner said:

One wild card is the MWC pursuing a different television network than ESPN.

I think FOX is out---they have enough content.

But who knows about NBC Sports, CBS Sports, or some other more obscure network.

They already have CBS Sports and I they would pay less than ESPN would. NBC Sports I think are lower than CBS right now. Unless its multiple networks, ESPN has MWC and other smaller conferences where they want them.

I think the only surprise that could affect things is if MWC says they are in talks with Hulu or Amazon to carry their games. That could raise some eyebrows and maybe get ESPN to do a better deal. But truth is, MWC really doesn't offer much more than late night football right now and I don't see that getting a big raise from ESPN

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7 minutes ago, SparkysDad said:

The "live sports broadcast" focus may be part of the reason, but the move to cut highly paid veterans and replace them with newbies is a very common expense saving move in a lot of industries.  Tenured teachers tempted with early retirement payouts, as an example...you're paying your 20+ year experienced math teacher with a Masters Degree around $60K when you can downgrade the educational experience for your students by bringing in a recent college grad for $30K! :ph34r:  

except ESPN didnt replace many of those let go at all.  Their intent was to cut head count, not turn it over.  They changed focus.  They originally wanted reporters in every city, covering every team.  For a period of time, it worked.  But eventually it became overkill because the whole media industry changed, and many of those people became superfluous.  Rights fees is still the biggest cost, and in many cases they overpaid.  They may still overpay down the road, because now they actually need MORE content in order to fill both the channels, but ESPN+ as well.  But what they overpay for may change.

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